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Monday, August 11, 2014

First Visit to the Dentist

Zen Son is going to be four in October. He has not yet been to the dentist. Yes, I am aware that the "rule" is to take your child to the dentist every 6 months starting at age 1, but there is NO way on earth that would've been a positive experience for my son at that age. Brushing teeth is not his favorite thing and I have to get VERY creative each day to get it done. I have gotten quite good at doing impressions of his favorite characters, animals, or made-up monsters while describing my teeth brushing. His dada isn't even allowed to brush his teeth. Given that our son is extremely wary of strangers, there was just no way that he was going to sit around in a scary chair with a bunch of pointy tools nearby while some stranger in a mask came at his mouth. Understandable, I think.

I don't have anxiety when I go to the dentist. Now, I've had a few traumatic experiences there, but generally, I'm good. I do know those who have severe anxiety, though, and I don't want to create that in my son. Forcing him there before he's ready was, I figured, a good way to make sure he has a lifetime hatred of these visits. So, I chose to wait. We brush, we breastfeed, we keep an eye on things. I feel good about what we've been doing. Now, though, I feel it's time.

So, I set out to find the coolest pediatric dentist I could find in my area who also took our insurance. Thank goodness for Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry and for my friend who "liked" them on Facebook, thus making it show up in my newsfeed (never thought I'd be grateful for what I normally see as an annoyance). I want to be their patient! I want to sit in their rad dinosaur chairs!
Alas, only my son gets to. Yes, I said "gets to," because after watching a few YouTube videos (as suggested by the Pregnancy and Parenthood: A Natural Perspective community), involving our son in the search for the dentist he liked best, and hyping the rad dino chairs (seriously...I'm going to talk to my dentist about getting those for his office), we are now at the point where my son feels sorry for me that I don't get to go to his dentist. "Aw, I'm sorry, Mama. That stinks. What a bummer for you. Don't worry, you can stand by me and hold my hand." Success!

Below are a couple videos he liked the best:


Now, we just have to keep up the positive hype and methinks we shall have a positive first visit to the dentist. Stay tuned after September 3rd for an update as to how it goes. I'll let you know. I'm hopeful!


We just returned from our son's first appointment with the dentist.

This kid is a flingin'-flangin' ROCK STAR! X-rays - no sweat. Polishing and exam - check. A little tartar scrapage - like water off a duck's back. It was a fantastic first experience for him and we couldn't have been more thrilled.

The dentist slathered his teeth with fluoride without asking or telling me what they were about to do. My son didn't like the way it tasted, so when I went to wipe it off, the doctor said, "Oh, that's fluoride. It's designed not to come off." Nice of her to give me the option. I was pissed. No, I don't think that amount is going to harm him, but we don't do fluoride in our home and I will know for next time to tell them not to do it at the dentist's office, either.

The scary news is that he has a mesiodens (extra tooth) growing upside down between his two front upper adult teeth. We have to schedule a consultation with the oral surgeon next. Unless there is some sort of pressing reason to really move on this, we'll be putting off the actual surgery until the last possible moment. Thinking of our son being afraid and in pain has our stomachs in knots.

Overall, this kid is rad. That is all.


  1. There are actually several schools of thought when it comes to sending your kid to his first visit to the dentist. Some dentists advise that the children should be "ready" when they drop by. You're spot on that if a kid doesn't have a good first visit, the poor guy would develop fear to the dentist, and that shouldn't happen. That's why I'm glad your kid is pumped up this early. I hope his first visit goes well!

    Leigh Hamilton @ Arbor Ridge Family Dental

    1. Thanks, Leigh! I think we can never go wrong if we listen to our instincts and our kids. I'll update this after his appointment to let everyone know how it goes.

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